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Medics: Israeli forces shell north Gaza, 2 killed

June 18, 2012 12:24 P.M. (Updated: June 19, 2012 9:46 P.M.)
GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- Two Palestinian men were killed on Monday when Israeli military forces shelled the northern Gaza Strip, medics said.

Witnesses told Ma'an the men were riding a motorcycle in a field near Beit Hanoun when Israeli forces bombed the area. Four others were injured and taken to Beit Hanoun hospital, they said.

The Israeli military said it hit "a terrorist squad of snipers" operating near the border. The snipers were among those responsible for several recent attacks along the Gaza border, including the attempted shooting of an Israeli farmer on Thursday, the army said in a statement.

A Ma'an correspondent said the men were identified as Muhammad Shabat and Ismael Abu Ouda in their 20s.

They were members of Islamic Jihad's military wing the Al-Quds Brigades, the group said, adding that they were en route to take part in a militant operation after Israeli troops entered the Gaza Strip.

Earlier, witnesses told Ma'an that seven Israeli military vehicles entered the Gaza Strip near the Erez crossing. Forces fired on local farmers, but no injuries were reported, they said.

Overnight Sunday, five people including a woman and a child were injured when Israel bombed a blacksmith's workshop in Rafah in southern Gaza, emergency services spokesman Adham Abu Salmiya said.

Earlier Sunday evening, Israel bombed a military site south of Gaza City used by the al-Qassam Brigades, the military wing of Hamas. That attack caused no injuries, Abu Salmiya said.

The Israeli military said it hit "a weapon manufacturing facility in the southern Gaza Strip and a terror activity site in the central Gaza Strip" overnight in response to rocket fire from the Gaza Strip.
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